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Some From Atlantic, Cape May Counties Approved for House Elevation Grants

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The process has been tediously slow, but some South Jersey residents waiting for a decision on grants to raise their properties finally got good news from the state this week.

Atlantic and Cape May County residents are among the 109 homeowners approved to receive grants up to $30,000 to assist them with costs incurred in elevating homes to protect against flooding and storms, the state Department of Environmental Protection said in a press release on Monday.

Abbie Tang-Smith, a DEP spokeswoman, said nine homeowners in the county will receive the grants: four in Ocean City, two in North Wildwood, one in Stone Harbor, one in Sea Isle City and one in Lower Township.

The grants are part of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. To date, the DEP has approved projects for properties in 28 municipalities, bringing the total of approved post-Superstorm Sandy elevation grant grants to 135.

A first round of grants was approved last month for 26 homeowners in Brigantine in Atlantic County. A series of community meetings are scheduled to guide residents through the final steps of the grant process.

The state has committed $100 million in HMGP funds provided by FEMA to elevate approximately 2,700 primary residential structures in the nine counties deemed by HUD as most impacted by Superstorm Sandy – Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union.

Other homeowners, including some in Ocean City, have received funding to raise their homes above potential future floods through the federal Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation program, or RREM. Under this program, a homeowner could get up to $150,000 from a total of $600 million in federal funds.

The total funding for the HMGP came in at $100 million.

Under the HMGP Elevation Program, eligible recipients receive up to $30,000 for a broad range of work associated with home elevations, including engineering, construction, permits and utility work.

The money is reimbursed after the work is completed. Homes must be deemed structurally sound to be eligible. The state stopped accepting applications for the HMPG as of Sept. 16.

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